Friday, July 22, 2011

Dezaemon 2 - Sega Saturn's Best Kept Secret?

Back in EA's early days, they created a fantastic do-it-yourself computer game called Pinball Construction Set.  It was a game that allowed you to create your own pinball game, using a wide variety of parts and building tools, then save to disc and share with your friends.  It was just about the greatest toy for any kid in the 1980s, and spawned an industry of user-created titles over the years.

Here is Sega Saturn's answer to Pinball Construction Set - Athena's Dezaemon 2.  You get to create your own arcade shoot-em-up, vertical or horizontal scrolling, with an almost limitless array of effects, options and features.  It's almost stupid easy to create using templates, or you can create your own graphics and compose your own music from scratch.  And I don't mean that you can create a simple, rudimentary shooter that resembles some old BASIC program from 1981.  I mean that you can create modern shooters that give commercial games a run for their money.

Deza2 continues to have a small-yet-dedicated fan following in Japan, where the game was released back in 1997.  Yes, this is yet another of the 400 or so "Lost Sega Saturn Classics" from Japan, and it's among the very best.  Heck, if I was ten years old, I would swear on a stack of holy books that this is the single greatest video game ever made.

I'll have to post some Deza2 Youtube videos, just to show off the amazing variety and skill in some of these user-created shooters.  I'll also have to spend more time with it, hopefully without becoming absorbed for hours (hey, the weekend is short).  This is the sort of thing that hardcore gamers lived for 20 years ago.  Where did all the construction games go?  I'm guessing that in this day and age, you're probably better off creating an actual indie game for real and putting it on iTunes.

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